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By Dr. Samuel P. Martin
The right shoe can make or break an outfit. But proper footwear is also essential to support your leg health. Here’s an overview of four shoes we recently reviewed and our recommendations on each. With these tips, you can still get a killer look without killing your legs!
Classic pump: WORST!
Your legs may look great, but classic pumps definitely don’t support leg health. Although your legs look hotter in heels, engaging your muscles this much can hurt circulation and cause long-term vein problems. Our suggestion: Wear shoes that preserve your leg health for daily use. Reserve pumps for “show-time.”
Heeled boot: BAD!
Despite its good looks, this boot is not optimum for leg health. Its heel partially engages the calf muscle, meaning the muscle cannot contract completely to move the blood upward. The calf is considered the “heart” for your legs, meaning it needs to freely contract to pump blood throughout your legs. For a healthier style, wear a boot with a minimal heel.
A better heel for leg health if heels are a must. These shoes provide a platform but not as steep as a pump. This allows the calf muscles to be less engaged. Helpful tip: If you must wear heels, simple exercises like pumping your calf back and forth can help.
Best for leg health! It’s flat with support for the foot and arch. This shoe is optimal for engaging the calf pump and enhancing circulation. The calf pump is the “heart” for your veins. With every step, the calf muscle contracts, helping to “pump” the blood back to the heart to become re-oxygenated.
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